Beat The Odds
School Leadership Academy


The Beat The Odds Institute was established in 2006 to provide a strong mentoring program for Arizona principals provided by educators with proven leadership skills. Since 2007, more than 200 schools have participated in the program.

Demography is Not Destiny

In recognition of the link between great school leaders and great schools, and committed to making a difference for low income low-achieving Latino students in Arizona, CFA embarked on a study in 2006 that asked one question -- What does it take to get great results in schools with mostly low income, mostly Latino students? With the active involvement of Jim Collins, researchers embarked upon a comprehensive study to answer that question. Applying Collins’ “Good to Great” business methodology, they identified six keys to success to drive change and overcome obstacles in predominantly underperforming predominantly Latino low-income schools.

  Strong and steady principal        Collaborative solutions
  Clear bottom line     Built to suit individual students
  Ongoing assessment     Stick with the program

The study led to the launch of the Beat the Odds (BTO) principal program in 2007, which has since provided training and mentoring to more than 200 school leaders.

With significant support from the Office of the Governor, the Burton Family Foundation and Helios Education Foundation, CFA is now poised to expand on the success of the BTO program through a collaboration with the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL). BTO’s successful principal mentorship model is being integrated with NISL’s nationally recognized research based principal training program, that draws on the best leadership practices from business, the military, and education.